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Tom Hunn of Xcel Energy worked on the site of the transformer fire on 5th Street in Minneapolis.

Richard Sennott• Star Tribune ,

Power restored in downtown Minneapolis after 90-minute failure

  • Article by: Paul Walsh
  • April 13, 2013 - 12:10 AM

Electricity was out for more than 90 minutes Friday morning in several blocks of downtown Minneapolis, darkening City Hall and police headquarters as well as many office buildings, officials said.

Offices went dark about 6:20 a.m., and power was restored to all customers at 7:55 a.m., an Xcel Energy spokesman said.

The affected area was mainly east of Marquette Avenue and near 5th Street. Signal lights were out at many intersections. Motorists took to taking turns going through intersections.

Xcel Energy spokeswoman Patti Ny­stuen said an electrical vault fire occurred about 11:30 p.m. Thursday at the CenturyLink building, darkening that location, 215 S. 5th St.

As workers tackled that, “additional problems” forced the utility to “deenergize” several nearby blocks, she said. The utility has yet to provide further details about the subsequent trouble it encountered.

Along with City Hall and police headquarters, affected buildings included the U.S. Bank Plaza and the Star Tribune. Lights stayed on at the Hennepin County Government Center.

Calls to 911 were not affected, said police spokesman Stephen McCarty.

Metro Transit said that light-rail trains kept running as usual. Hennepin County Medical Center is in the area that went dark, but the hospital operated normally, presumably thanks to a backup power source, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Staff writer Tim Harlow contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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